Pilates Allegro 2 Reformer for Balanced Body

The world’s largest Pilates equipment manufacturer introduces a reformer anyone can use

Balanced Body is the world’s largest manufacturer of Pilates equipment. The company was the first to introduce significant updates to Joseph Pilates’ original designs through state-of-the-art technology, engineering, and materials. Ken Endelman, the company’s founder and owner, has introduced hundreds of standard-setting innovative products since the 1970s. The Pilates Allegro Reformer is among them: its ease of use, adjustability, and solid construction make it a popular exercise apparatus for gyms and homes.

In May 2010, Balanced Body partnered with IDEO to update the Allegro design to appeal to a broader audience. The team discovered during user research that many people new to Pilates find existing reformers intimidating, so designers collaborated with Balance Body’s in-house engineering team to improve the user experience without compromising the reformer’s functionality. This was a quick-turnaround project; IDEO’s challenge was to maximize the reformer’s functionality while simplifying all the interaction points within eight weeks. The outcome was the invention of a metal frame that makes the Allegro more intuitive, flexible, and compact. The new Allegro frame also hides many of the necessary mechanical elements inside the reformer’s frame and carriage.

Additional improvements include:
• Greater functionality and adjustability of the footbar, ropes, and shoulder pads;
• Lower cost due to reduction in the number of wheels; and
• Creation of a seamless, easy-to-clean surface from body cushion to head cushion (nothing gets caught by the mechanism).

Balanced Body on the new Allegro frame: “The original Allegro Reformer is the most successful reformer ever made. We wanted to maintain our market lead and we had to do it right. The new Allegro Reformer reaffirms our reputation as the most innovative firm in our field. We believe it will appeal to new markets as well as our existing clientele.”

Project date: 2011